Let’s Start Anew in 2021
Suppose we look back at 2019—not 2020—and its key data points. Then, with some imagineering and a nod of acknowledgement to some irrefutable facts of life regarding what it takes to live a global pandemic, let’s do a quick sketch of where the path we’ll cut in 2021 might take us. In other words, there follows a compact outlook for the USA’s top overseas source markets for inbound tourism to the United States.
Background: At about this time every year, INBOUND attempts to prepare a serious review of the past year’s developments and, after factoring into the mix in-country economic, political developments and relevant data, we boldly make some predictions about how the country market will perform. And, of course, we do a broad overview of the overall, or global inbound tourism market—both overseas and international (the latter includes Mexico and Canada, which we will focus on in a latter issue).
This year, it would be impossible to do a market review when, simply stated, there was no market for most of 2020. So, with a little inductive reasoning, we used relevant data that we have on hand for country market performance in the several years (2017, 2018 and 2019) prior to 2020, as well as some trend information and market knowledge to make our assessments, there follows the elements of our abbreviated outlook.
• First, if there is progress worldwide in achieving some sort of meaningful containment of the COVID-19 virus now that there are effective vaccines available and which are being administered, there seems to be a consensus that recovery—in the U.S. at least—will begin in this year’s second quarter (Q1). While some key source markets would like to push to have their own early recovery beginning in Q1, there simply isn’t enough time to get flight schedules and seat capacity back to where it was in mid-March of last year—not to mention enough trained staff back in place.
• How we’ll be able to tell that recovery is underway: Since we don’t have the type of travel-and-tourism market model that would suit our purposes, per se, let’s look at arrivals data below for the Top 10 and Top 20 overseas source markets for the three years prior to 2020.
• How well do the Top 10/Top 20 represent the overseas market as a whole? The NTTO information we used for the tables above also show us that, in 2019:
—The Top 10 country markets sent 58 percent (more than 23.5 million) of all overseas visitors to the U.S., while …
—The Top 20 generated 73 percent (29.4 million) of all overseas visitors to the U.S.
• Can we determine if overseas travel to the U.S. was riding an upward or downward trend path during 2017-2019? Not really, but a review of the Top 20 indicates that, of the 20 markets tabulated above, eight of them had record-setting years in 2019. (Six others had record-breaking years in 2015 and another had a recording-setting year in 2017.) Sure seems more like an “upward” path.
• About 2021–Keeping in mind that because Q1 activity and arrivals will be tepid, here are some caption-length notes on the Top 20:
1. United Kingdom: Any normal projection or prediction will suggest that the number of UK visitors to the U.S. this year will come nowhere near their figures for Q2-Q4 in 2019, but surveys of British travelers in 2020 showed a determined stubbornness to have a U.S. holiday regardless. And pent-up demand is ready to explode. We’ll have a better idea when we see how the “peak” travel sales month of January does.
2. Japan: Look at the arrivals figures from Japan, and one sees a flatline extending back for a decade or more (there is a small downward plop related to the Great Recession of 2008-09) and it will likely continue, as the nation has a low birth rate and little prospect of replacing people in key traveler demographic groups. This year, the focus of much of the industry in Japan has to do with the Olympic Games, which are supposed to run from July 23 to August 8. As of this writing, it was not certain that the games would take place. So dismal was activity 2020 that the Japan Association of Travel Agents (JATA) didn’t distribute a single issue of its quarterly survey report of the travel trade.
3. China: Strongest bet for 2021—If. Its economy is strong. It has virtually eliminated COVID 19. Demand for travel is strong. But … the Chinese government has been critical of the U.S. and has sometimes discouraged Chinese citizens from traveling to the USA. And then there is the high rate of rejection on visa applications to visit the United States. Can we deal with such issues in time for a summer surge?
4. South Korea: Ever since Nov. 17, 2011, when it became a part of the Visa Waiver Program, South Korea has increased the number of visitors it sends to the United States at near-meteoric levels—from 704,000 in 2009 to 2.3 million in 2019. There was a slight retreat in 2018—the result of the Chinese government’s reaction to installation of a U.S. military system and apprehension over the actions of North Korea. But with its close bond to the USA and with much of its traveling population speaking American English, South Korea is a near-sure bet for 2021.
5. Brazil: No market amazes INBOUND as much as Brazil does. Following its worst economic recession from 2014-2016, a series of politics-related headlines that would weaken any country and, last year, another economic recession … the list goes on. But so does the Brazilian spirit known as “jogo de cintura,” which makes Brazilians believe that can adapt to any situation. Also, there have been some astute industry moves that helped the tourism industry hang on last year—primarily by promoting domestic tourism and keeping the industry infrastructure active, in spite of some contraction. Q2-Q4 activity could match 2019 levels.
6. Germany. This market was going nowhere into positive growth territory even before the global pandemic essentially shut down the travel and tourism industry. While its total visitor numbers to the USA are strong, they are static. Germany has a major structural problem: a slow, slow birthrate is draining the population of enough new recruits to the long-haul travel sector of the market. Maybe next year (2022).
7. France: The profile and performance of France as a strong Visit USA source market should continue to manifest itself as soon as its travelers sense recovery is on the way. NTTO survey information tells us that the French have a warm spot for NYC (40 percent of French travelers to the USA visited it in 2019) and high-brow activity (43 percent visited an art museum during their U.S. visit), along with an innate curiosity about things American. Should some sense of normalcy return to the marketplace, the 2019 indicators tell us that we can count on France.
8. India: As a source market for overseas tourism, the outlook seems bright for India—as it has been in the immediate past. It hasn’t had a contraction in its annual Visit USA numbers this century. Aside from a natural interest in the U.S. (It sends more students to the U.S. than any nation but China, and VFR is a reason that many Indians visit the USA), the international tourism infrastructure has grown steadily over the past two decades as more and more connecting flights arrive at, and depart from, India. Q2-Q4 traffic to the United States from India should increase vs. the same period in 2019.
9. Australia: ‘Twas a double whammy that hit this nation’s economy in 2020—a global pandemic and a six-month recession—not to mention a considerable number of Australians out of work. So, there won’t be the discretionary income Aussies usually enjoy to take their holidays as they are accustomed to. With the country already on the way toward an underperforming economy in 2021, don’t expect the country’s Visit USA numbers to rebound this year or, likely, next year as well.
10. Italy: As long as there is a New York City, there will be a steady stream of Italians visiting the USA, because nearly half of them go to NYC every year. In recent years, though, operators have been going “beyond the gateways” and are selling a variety of U.S. product to Italians. While the national economy of Italy has its peaks and valleys, the travel industry has been relatively stable and depends on the euro which, since 2016, has itself been stable vs. the U.S. dollar. It will be interesting to see if the fondness for New York City is diminished due to COVID-19-related fears. No matter, there is much more of America to see.
11. Colombia: It is remarkable that the tourism businesses in Colombia, a nation of 50 million people, have had the ability to compete with other sectors of the national economy for resources, as some 4 million Venezuelans fled their troubled home country from 2015 to mid-2019. The refugee population has drained the country’s economy. Even so, the number of Colombians visiting the USA set a record in 2019. As the refugee challenge diminishes, the possibility of a healthy 2021 vs. the 2019 Q2-Q4 numbers seems plausible.
12: Spain: We’re not a gambling lot here at INBOUND, but were we so, we would move many of our chips to Spain. Its mix of travel products and the global signature to all these products (there are tourism companies with connected roots in Mexico—especially Cancún—Latin America, Philadelphia, PA and the Iberian Peninsula as well as Palma de Mallorca) has given industry leaders the opportunity to shelter or rehabilitate weak units. There has also been strong growth in airline lift capacity as connected flights from all over Europe now depart from Spanish cities on their way to the U.S. It’s no surprise that Spain hasn’t had a weak year since 2012.
13. Argentina: Searching for the words that would best describe the situation in Argentina, we found this in the FOCUSECONOMICS publication last week: “The economy should rebound, albeit timidly, in 2021 after this year’s sharp contraction. That said, protracted macroeconomic imbalances, sky-high inflation, capital controls and potentially market-unfriendly policies will weigh on growth.” Only the well-to-do (not necessarily a small number, by the way) will be visiting the USA this year.
14: Netherlands: With the exception of 2009 during the Great Recession and a softening of the European economy in 2016, the Netherlands has been—and should continue to be—the source of a steady level of visitors to the United States. Few countries have a population that is as fluent in English (and American English at that) as does the Netherlands. It’s possible that the country, where anti-Donald Trump sentiment has been high, might have an uptick now that he will no longer be U.S. president.
15. Ireland: Proportionately speaking, no nation produces as many visitors to the United States as does Ireland. Though the methodology is admittedly flawed, the numbers tell us that, in 2019, the country’s 4.9 million people sent more than a tenth of its population (521 thousand) to the USA, and more than 20 percent of them visited family or friends. A strong economy, a fruitful membership in the EU and with so many relatives who speak the same language, Ireland seems likely to send more people, proportionately speaking, than any other Top 20 overseas market for some time to come.
16. Taiwan: In 2013, the year after it was approved to be a part of the Visa Waiver Program, Taiwan’s output of visitors to the USA increased by 39 percent, and it has increased, modestly, every year since to the point at which it totaled a half-million in 2019. Promoting travel to the U.S. from Taiwan is an activity that is fraught with anxiety, however, as China insists that it be considered part of China proper.
17. Dominican Republic: We are inclined to believe that the relatively high position of the DR among inbound tourism markets has something to do with its VFR appeal, as an estimated 2.1 million Hispanics of Dominican origin lived in the United States in 2017 (compared to 707,000 in the year 2000, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey). We see no compelling reason that the DR’s share should diminish this year.
18: Switzerland: While its population is small (8.7 million), it is large enough to produce somewhere at or above its 2019 level (475 million) for nearly a decade. With a strong currency and a long tradition of international travel, the country should register levels that, at the very least, match those of 2019.
19. Ecuador: We expect that the reputation among Ecuadorians will remain and keep its level of visitation to the U.S. near or slightly above what it has been. The small country—it is known as the Switzerland of South America—has a small population but a significant number of high-income net-worthers who like the U.S. as a long-haul destination.
20. Sweden: It’s difficult to pinpoint the reason for the recent decline in the popularity of the U.S. among Swedes. Visitation fell in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Meanwhile, the value of its currency has actually increased against the dollar. Perhaps it has had something to do with the popularity of U.S. President Donald J. Trump. Earlier in 2020, his confidence rating among Swedes had fallen to 15 percent according to a Pew Research Center survey. With Trump gone—who knows?
Leadership Turnover at Germany’s FTI
It was announced just prior to the holiday season that Dietmar Gunz has turned over the leadership of FTI—it is the third-largest operator in Germany and Europe—to Ralph Schiller. The move concluded a hectic year for the operator, and for the tourism industry in Germany: last spring, Egyptian billionaire Samih Sawiris acquired the company by purchasing Gunz’s shares in the FTI Group, an action which made Sawiris the group’s sole owner. Sawiris made the move as FTI, like other German operators, faced financial problems in the wake of the impact of the outbreak of the COVID-19 crisis. Sawiris had previously acquired 30 percent of the group’s shares in 2014.
Several months after the acquisition, in addition to cutting jobs in all areas of its operation, the Munich-based operator closed down the following: LAL Sprachreisen, a language vacation specialist; FTI Cruises; the Fly.de flight sales online operations; and its Touristic 24 call center.
Ralph Schiller joined the management of the FTI Group in 2011 as group managing director of departments such as distribution/sales, customer service, operation & destination support, supply chain management, marketing and corporate communications. He was also responsible for the foreign subsidiaries of the group. A trained travel agent, Schiller began his career as office manager of a travel agency. In 1990, he became managing partner at Reiseland GmbH & Co. KG in 1990, was appointed to the management of Otto Freizeit Touristik GmbH in 2004 and was responsible for marketing and sales in the management of Rewe Touristik GmbH.
Samih Sawiris comes from a multi-billion-dollar Egyptian entrepreneurial family. His Orascom Development Holding develops integrated holiday resorts such as El Gouna and Taba Heights in Egypt, Salalah in Oman or Andermatt in Switzerland. It also has residential properties in Egypt. Overall, the group manages more than 30 hotels with over 7,000 rooms.
As for Dietmar Gunz, his professional life has been the stuff seen often among leaders in the travel and tourism industry. An industrious and entrepreneurial spirit, he founded FTI in 1981 as a language travel specialist. For more on the company’s history, visit: https://www.fti-group.com/en/history.
Travel Weekly UK Insight Annual Report 20/21
Nothing quite measures up to the breadth and depth of information on the UK’s travel and tourism industry that one receives in the Travel Weekly Annual Report. Produced by TW in association with Deloitte, the tome (its PDF version is 56 pages long) is released just prior to the year-end holidays and, INBOUND believes, might not get the reach of attention in the United States that it deserves for the knowledgeable insight and understanding of the nation of 68 million people that happens to be the largest overseas source market for tourism to the United States.
Sending, as it does, about one out of every overseas 10-plus visitors who arrive in the U.S. each year, it is important for those of us in the travel and tourism industry in the USA to understand the whims and ways and likes of the British traveler.
As for the statement that says it all, few could do as well as Alistair Pritchard, lead partner, Travel and Aviation, Deloitte LLP, in his summary notice: “The COVID-19 pandemic forced people and businesses around the world to adapt overnight to a new way of living and working,” he said, adding, “Despite the initial disruption, we witnessed immense resilience. Businesses banded together to find innovative ways to address customer needs while putting the health, safety and wellbeing of their workforce and consumers first.”
As seems to be the graphic fashion these days, the TW Insight/Report zaps the reader’s senses with a word cloud of facts, figures and word-pairs that require some translation, which we’ve provided in the list below.
—31 percent of those surveyed are planning an overseas holiday this year; this is down by 22 percentage points vs. last year.
—Onein two fear having to self-isolate on holiday.
—45 percent plan a domestic holiday; this is down 22 percentage points year-on-year.
—Two in five travelers plan to avoid a “busy destination.”
—Half fear catching COVID while on holiday.
—Two in five are concerned about flying.
—Twice as many 16-34-year-olds are as happy to fly as over-55-year-olds.
—Two-thirds (68 percent) won’t fly long-haul till they can be vaccinated.
—Two out of three over-45-year-want ATOL (Airline Travel Organizer License) protection for their holiday.
—More than half (53 percent) want a refund guarantee for their trip/package.
—More than a quarter (27 percent) are concerned about the impact of tourism in a destination.
—Half of overseas holidaymakers plan on booking an “all-inclusive” this year.
—Two in five people plan to spend more on their holiday in 2021 than they did last year.
—One in five plans to book with a high street agent.
Source: Service Science/Kantar
Recovery Will Come, We Just Don’t Know How Quickly: One factor hampering the UK numbers crunchers at TW and elsewhere is a simple, but very taxing reality: “Some of the data to which all of those who observe tourism-related matters refer just isn’t there,” explains Ian Taylor, executive editor at TW UK, adding, “no one can judge with certainty what bookings will be like four weeks hence and with three major sources of industry data unavailable. The survey behind UK Office for National Statistics’ outbound and inbound data is suspended, as is the GB Tourism Survey which supplies domestic data. In addition, GfK has unhappily ceased collating outbound booking data.”
What research there is, Taylor said, “suggests a substantially reduced number of overseas holidays in 2021. But counter to some forecasts, it suggests no significant change in the type of holiday, no great switch to the outdoors or away from luxury hotels, and no shift away from all-inclusive. There also appears no great acceleration in embrace of technology, albeit this may simply be taken for granted.”
1. The UK Holiday Market
—27 million: the number of UK adults who take at least one overseas holiday in a normal year.
—16.5 million: the number who intend to take an overseas holiday in 2021
—36.4 million: the number of UK adults who take at least one domestic break in a normal year.
—24.3 million: the number who intend to take a UK break in 2021.
Source for above: Service Science Kantar
2. UK Outbound Holiday Market, Pre-COVID*
—50 percent: Percentage of Britons who took at least one overseas holiday in 2019 (Down four percent YoY)
—24 percent: Percentage of Britons who took two or more overseas holidays in 2019 (Up one percentage point YoY)
3. UK Holiday Market, Pre-COVID*
—86 percent: Number of Britons who took an overseas holiday who also had a domestic break (Down three percentage points YoY)
4. UK Domestic Holiday Market, Pre-COVID*
—67 percent: Percentage of Britons who took at least one domestic holiday a year in 2019 (Down four percent YoY)
—40 percent: Percentage of Britons who took two or more domestic holidays in 2019 (Down five percentage points YoY)
To see the complete report, visit here.
Directours Acquired: Olivier Kervella, president of the NG Travel Group, has purchased the well-known Jet tours brand (and domain name) from Hervé Vighier, the former president of Marmara. The objective, according to the French travel trade media, was to give NG Travel a property that complements Directours, a direct-to-consumer online travel company that does not deal with travel agents. Price of the acquisition: 1.07 million euros ($1.3 million). Vighier bought the Paris-based property for the same price last February, following the liquidation of the Thomas Cook Group France. The NG Travel Group is France’s fifth largest tour operator, according to the Tour Hebdo travel trade publication’s ranking. NG Travel owns Boomerang Voyages, Promisors and the travel club brands: Kappa Club and Club Coralie. In 2019, NG Travel reported in 2019 a turnover of 268 million euros ($327 million)—up 14.5 percent vs. 2018—and a net profit of 8 million euros ($9.8 million). With the acquisition of Jet tours, Directors will be able to develop its sales in the high-end and tailor-made travel segment, as well as increase its online presence and visibility. on the internet. A new jet.tours.com website was due to open this month.
Brand USA will show well its online Brand USA Global Marketplace is working next week (on January 13 and 14) when it hosts its “Focus on Canada” trade show. The event is the single-largest trade initiative the organization has undertaken to date in Canada, which underscores the importance of the Canadian market in tourism’s early recovery. Focus on Canada will highlight the diverse U.S. destinations and experiences available to Canadian travelers and provide Brand USA partners in the U.S. with the latest insights and trends on Canada’s post-pandemic travel mindset. The recovery-themed event will debut on the new Brand USA Global Marketplace, which was launched last October to more or less take the place of Brand USA’s Travel Week Europe; scheduled to take place in September, the show was pushed back for a year as a result of the COVID-19 crisis.
“After the unprecedented challenges of 2020, we’re excited to turn the page toward recovery and kickstart the New Year with a focus on Canadian travelers,” said Chris Thompson, Brand USA president and CEO. “Canada is the largest source market for inbound travel to the United States, which makes sense given our shared border and the strong cultural, economic, and social bonds between our countries,” Thompson added. “When it is safe to do so, travel will resume and we are excited for the day when we can welcome back our Canadian friends. Our industry remains resilient, and through events like Focus on Canada, we’re working together to build the future of tourism.”
Register now, and visit https://brandusaglobalmarketplace.com/focus-on-canada for more information and to stay connected.
Qatar Airways has announced that it will begin incrementally increasing flights to Montréal beginning on January 16, 2021 and operate daily frequencies by February 25, 2021, up from the previously scheduled four weekly frequencies. The Montréal service is operated by Qatar Airways’ state-of-the-art Airbus A350-900 featuring 36 seats in its Qsuite Business Class and 247 seats in Economy Class.
From FlightGlobal.com: European low-cost carrier Wizz Air had hoped to launch flights during 2020 with its own Abu Dhabi operation, a joint venture with Abu Dhabi state holding company ADQ. However, the launch was pushed back amid continued travel restrictions. The carrier now plans to operate its first flight on January 15, to Greek capital Athens, part of an initial network of destinations across the Mediterranean and Caucasus regions. For a complete list of airlines that launched or didn’t make it during 2020, visit here.
Finally—this Visit USA product definitely not for groups. Travel Weekly tells us what there is in Abercrombie & Kent’s $125,000-per-person over-the-top tour that will take guests from coast to coast with a bit of a safari in between. Visit here for more details.
Inbound Arrivals Still Weak, but …
It could be worse. While not good news in itself, arrivals total for November is the lowest of the monthly declines its experienced since March 2020.
Toward the latter part of next month, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Travel and Tourism Office (NTTO) will release the final, monthly, “quick-release” with the arrivals numbers for the Top 15 source markets for overseas visits to the United States for 2020. In 2019, the Top 15 accounted for close to 70 percent of all overseas arrivals to the U.S.
There will be other 2020 tallies from NTTO in the following months, but they will not change the assessment that the November data below already show us: This has indeed been the worst year for overseas travel to the United States since NTTO and its predecessor federal agencies have collected the information.
It would be irresponsible to make any authoritative generalizations about the numbers below, given their isolated nature, but one can still speculate. As one pollster put it years ago, when he explained his practice in reviewing the raw numbers from a survey: “Study the numbers. Study them thoroughly. After a while, they begin to talk to you.”
With that as a preface, we urge you to review the tables below.
2021 Aviation’s Year of Recovery
Get Ready to Enjoy a Remarkable Year of Growth. By OAG’s John Grant 12/30/2020
Despite everything that has been thrown at the aviation industry in 2020 there is much to look forward to in 2021 as the last few hours of the year wind down and we take a few minutes to reflect on a crazy year. Good times are returning, and about time too! When you reflect on what has happened in the last twelve months then perhaps the aviation industry, travel and tourism and all the associated supply chains had in some places become slightly complacent as the chart below may show.
For complete article, click here.
CHINA MARKET NOTES
Outbound China Travel to Boom in 2022: The long-term outlook for China outbound travel is looking promising according to the ForwardKeysTraveler Statistics forecast – a new feature just rolled out by the Valencia-Spain headquartered research and analytics firm ForwardKeys. It foresees an increase of 38.7 percent on year-on-year variation for 2021, while 2022 will see a giant increase of 83.8 percent. U.S. travel suppliers and DMOs should be a little patient, however, as the first global region to benefit from this excited Chinese of travelers from China will be neighbors in the Asia-Pacific, followed by Europe and, in the last position, North America.
“We see that some destinations’ borders have already been opened for Chinese travelers as the Asia Pacific is the most dependent on Chinese arrivals, and in the long-term, we predict that regional travel to the Asia Pacific will remain the fastest-growing destination in post-COVID travel,” says Nan Dai, China market expert at ForwardKeys. Click here to read the original article.
The Role of Loyalty Programs in Shopping Tourism: From MacauBusiness.com and the Macao Institute for Tourism Studies (IFTM). A recent research paper focused on loyalty programs in shopping tourism suggests retailers should not simply offer loyalty memberships to shopping tourists, but also emphasize member privileges in retail promotions. The work—by a lecturer and by a former scholar from IFTM—said this would help maximize the desired impact on consumer behavior of loyalty programs, including strengthening the relationship between customer and shopping brand. Authors IFTM lecturer Dr. Veronica Lam Iok Keng and Dr. Anthony Wong Ip Kin, from Sun Yat-sen University in mainland (Guangzhou) China, pointed out that shopping tourists often seek purchases that represent value for their money. “Distinctive member benefits such as price discounts and special packaging can be more attractive to Chinese tourist shoppers due to their large purchase volume abroad as the result of their gift-giving culture,” they wrote. (Click here to read the original article.)
China says it will take measures against U.S. over the latter’s visa restrictions on Chinese officials.
Toward the end of last month, China said through its official news media channels that it would continue to take necessary countermeasures to defend its legitimate rights and interests in response to additional visa restrictions by the U.S., according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The U.S. has imposed additional visa restrictions on some Chinese officials over alleged human rights issues, according to a statement by the U.S. State Department, noting that “Family members of such persons may also be subject to these additional restrictions.” read the statement.
At a regular press briefing, Wang Wenbin, the spokesperson for the Foreign Affairs Ministry, and deputy director of the Foreign Ministry Information Department, urged the U.S. to retract the visa restrictions, and said that China will come up with countermeasures depending on how the U.S. acts.
The U.S. move came less than a month after it announced new visa rules that limit the duration of travel visas for members of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and their immediate families.
Wang said that the U.S. has “weaponized” visas on the excuse of a series of issues that have included China’s Hong Kong and Xinjiang affairs, constantly imposing visa restrictions on Chinese personnel.
Also, at about the same time as Wang’s remarks, the U.S. Commerce Department published a new “military end user” list in the Export Administration Regulations, which list will include 58 Chinese and 45 Russian companies.
.On December 7, the U.S. imposed financial sanctions and a travel ban on 14 senior members of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee, China’s top legislature, over Hong Kong issues. Then, three days later, China decided to impose equivalent sanctions on U.S. officials for their stance on issues related to Hong Kong as a countermeasure to U.S. sanctions, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson told reporters at a news briefing, saying that several U.S. politicians and their anti-China rhetoric were “ridiculous” and “pathetic.”
The rhetorical give-and-take between the U.S. and China is the source of no small amount of agitation for those who are trying to sell and market the USA (although the market has been dormant during the COVID-19 crisis). Of late, the official statements from the Chinese government have not, as they have at times, actually encouraged Chinese citizens not to travel to the United States, but they do make Chinese travel agents and tour operators hesitant to promote travel to the U.S.
Tourism Pros Partner in New Venture
Ten veteran industry experts can help clients individually or in customized groups. Rolled out in a soft opening during the waning days of the third quarter of 2020, the Tourism Expert Network (TEN) is gradually making its/their presence known in the consultancy branch of the travel and tourism industry with what comprises a group of individual industry experts who can help a client in today’s environment of limited budgets. One can retain one, two, three or the entire roster of TEN, if necessary, to work on the multiple charges for which U.S. travel suppliers and DMOs must do every day.
Where did the notion for this approach kick off? Terry Selk, known widely in the tourism industry, especially on the west coast, for his work at the Sacramento CVB and the Yosemite/Mariposa County Tourism Bureau, told INBOUND what motivated him: “I created the group in September as some key colleagues were being furloughed and laid off and I saw the opportunity to help give them an arena to determine their next career steps by collaborating with others.”
What criteria did he use for selecting the nine partners that he chose? Selk said that he “hand-picked the group based on professional integrity, work ethic, skill set and similar mind set. Most have been key supporters of mine throughout the years so this was my way of giving back.”
Who are they? If you’re a part of the U.S. travel and tourism industry and you take a look at the roster that follows, chances are you know at least three or four people listed.
Alfredo Gonzalez / AG Global Hospitality Group (Aviation-International Sales–Multilingual)
Ashlee Ciora / Ciora Global, LLC (Global Marketing-Luxury Strategy-Trade Development)
David Ryan, / CTC (Destination Expert-Sales-Product Development)
Faith Alchorn-Selk (Product Training-Social Media–Writing)
Jennifer Bartlett-Henriques /Colorado Marketing Connections (Trade Development-International Sales and Media – Market Analysis)
Jennifer Munn-Olson/Olson Marketing (Retail Tourism Marketing – Program Development-Event Management)
Mike Fullerton (Public Policy-Stakeholder Engagement & Outreach-Grassroots Training)
Rafael Villanueva (Event Planning-Leisure and MICE Sales-Trade Show Management)
Robert Kaufman / Picture Parfect (Content Development-Photography-Golf Marketing)
Terry Selk /Tasmark Enterprises (Rural Tourism Management-Event Development and Execution – Business Matchmaking)
For more information, visit: www.tourismexpertnetwork.com
Hodge Podge: Appointment & Changes
Casandra Matej has been selected as the new president and CEO of Visit Orlando. She joins the organization from her post as president and CEO of Visit San Antonio, where she has served for more than nine-and-a-half years. Prior to her tenure in San Antonio, Matej was senior vice president, sales and services, at Visit Dallas for nearly seven years. In Orlando, she succeeds George Aguel, who announced his retirement from the position last August. In San Antonio, Dave Krupinski, the current chief operating officer of Visit San Antonio, has been named interim director. A nationwide search to replace Matej will be conducted in the coming months.
In China, Zhang Tingting has been appointed executive president of market of Ctrip Group, the country’s largest travel company. Zhang will continue to serve as chairman and CEO of Ctrip Financial Information Service Company Limited, reporting to Ctrip Group’s CMO, Sun Bo. Zhang will continue to be responsible for the management of Ctrip’s foreign exchange and shopping businesses, while leading the business integration of global shopping and membership store. Zhang joined Ctrip in 2000 and is a member of the founding team of Ctrip.
Paul Beirnes is the newly appointed deputy director of tourism the for Naples, Marco Island and Everglades CVB. Beirnes joins the team at Florida’s Paradise Coast with over 30 years of destination marketing experience that includes leadership roles at such well-known brands as Hilton Worldwide, Visit Orlando and Disney. In this role, Beirnes will oversee the sales functions of the bureau and assist executive director, Jack Wert, with day-to-day Bureau operations.
David Goodman has been named as the new chief commercial and marketing officer at Lindblad Expeditions Holdings. In his new role, he’ll oversee all revenue production and will lead marketing, sales, digital product development and strategic partnerships. Goodman, who will be based at the New York headquarters of Lindblad, whose USA product consists primarily of Alaska and the Pacific Northwest. Goodman most recently served as executive vice president, marketing and digital for Sotheby. Prior to that, he was president, entertainment/production for the Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corporation.
Air Canada recently announced promotions for a number of familiar faces. Nino Montagnese, (top left) previously managing director, Air Canada Vacations becomes vice president, Air Canada Vacations. Lisa Pierce, previously managing director, Canada and USA sales, becomes vice president, Canada and USA sales. And Virgilio Russi, previously managing director, international sales becomes Vice President, International Sales. “As we approach the end of a tumultuous year, and look forward to a brighter future in 2021, we continue to take steps to best position ourselves for recovery from the devastating repercussions of the COVID-19 global pandemic,” said Air Canada President and CEO Calin Rovinescu, who will step down next year.
In Brazil, Amanda De Rousset has been named is the new LATAM operations manager for Latin America for TBO Holidays. She is based in São Paulo; Previously, she worked for the tour operator TREND Viagens nearly seven years, first as leisure general manager, then as operations manager.
UK-based Charitable Travel has appointed Alison Nicholls to the role of head of partnerships. In her new role, Nicholls will reinforce existing partnerships and develop new relationships with tourism offices, tour operators, hotels, airlines, and cruise lines to help Charitable Travel’s mission to raise money for good causes. Previously, Nicholls was with NBC Universal for more than eight years as senior business development manager. Before that, she held a partnerships role at British Airways, managing new route launches and leisure marketing campaigns. Nicholls previously worked with Charitable Travel chief executive and founder Melissa Tilling in 2002 when they were both at AsiaWorld.
Posted Industry Jobs
From SearchWide Global:
—The Myrtle Beach Chamber of Commerce is searching for a new chief marketing officer. Click here for more information.
—Destinations International has an opening for a sales & services manager. For more information, click here.
—Visit SLO CAL (San Luis Obispo County, California) is searching for a chief marketing officer. Visit here for more information.
—VisitGreenvilleSC is looking for a president and CEO. For additional details, click here.
—Visit Florida is searching for a vice president of marketing. For more information, visit here.
—Destination Madison is searching for a new president and CEO. Click here for more information.
—The Bermuda Tourism Authority is looking for a chief sales and marketing officer. For additional details, click here.
—The Little Rock Convention & Visitors Bureau has an opening for a director of sales. Click here for more information.
—The Oklahoma City Convention & Visitors Bureau has an opening for a new president. Click here for more information.
—A new president and CEO is being sought by Destination Madison (Wis.). For additional details, click here.
—The Virginia Tourism Corporation (it is the state’s DMO) has an opening for a director of research and market intelligence. Click here for more information.
—In the Charlotte/Concord area of North Carolina, Great Wolf Resorts as an opening for a director of sales and catering. For details, click here
From Indeed.com: We’ve taken a look at this site (click here) which says that it has more than 200 jobs listed, including a fair number in the travel, tourism and related industries. A sampler of what to expect is below.
—Gloucester County, Virginia is looking for a tourism coordinator to perform work in all aspects of a comprehensive tourism program for Gloucester County. More details here.
—Blue Cloud Travel in Lake Mills, Wisconsin, is searching for a travel coordinator. More details here.
—Market America Inc. in Greensboro, N.C., is looking for a global travel manager, who will manage complex individual and corporate and personal travel program for employees, executives and VIPs. More details here.
From LinkedIn Jobs: Known to many across the board in the travel and tourism industry, the LinkedIn list (click here) has numerous job opportunities posted. Following is a brief sample of some of those jobs listed.
—Six Flags in Santa Clarita, California has an opening for a director of tourism. Details here.
—Travel Edge, New York City, is looking for an independent luxury travel advisor. Details here.
—In Boston, Mass., EF Education First has an opening for an educational tour consultant. Details here.